Meet Lyubomir Shishkoff, product manager in the FinTech company emerchantpay and the co-founder of two startups. As part of his job, he is responsible for the development of a proprietary payment processing and acquiring gateway that helps thousands of international merchants accept online payments.
But where does the need to learn new UX/UI skills come from?
As Lyubomir explains: "one needs to be brave and try new things". The UX/UI design was familiar to him. Almost 10 years ago, while involved in a startup community, Lyubomir found the beneficial influence of the UX/UI instrumental.
That's when Lyubomir applied to Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI Design
to fill the gaps, learn new skills and power up his career.
This is his story!
Before getting into it, don't forget – the admission for the program is still open.
If you want to fast-track your career with the hands-on skills companies demand, apply by 27 February!
When did you first decide you wanted to pursue a career in UX/UI?
My first engagement with UX/UI design was almost 10 years ago when I was drawn to the startup community in Sofia. Within 4 years, I've had a chance to kickstart two separate startups (an ecom and an HR-tech platform) where UX/UI was instrumental. The collaboration with people who got more experience than me in that sphere has helped me quite a lot.
I believe that whatever area of competence one decides to grow in - knowledge and experience in anything that overlaps with that sphere (even partially) is vital for long-term success. As a person dedicated to the Product development domain, solidifying my knowledge and UX/UI Design skills was always a priority. Some people might be surprised, but UX, in particular, has much in common with the scope a Product Manager might be entitled to. This always depends on the company or project one is part of and the setup and competence of the entire team, but the bottom line is that growing your competence in UX/UI Design will make you a better Product Manager.
To be honest, selecting Telerik Academy was not that hard- all my interactions with people in the local tech space on that topic ended up with a thumbs up for that option. Besides, I liked the fact that there is clear attention to participants' selection - it always makes a difference when you work with people keen on growing with you.
What did you find most valuable in the program?
First of all, you get to interact with experienced trainers who are designers themselves and can really help you when you are stuck with something. The design of the course itself, together with the embedded training project, enables you to go through the theoretical part in a very logical sequence and practice every bit of new knowledge at every turn of your journey. You get to do this in a small team of people assigned to that project. On its own, this is an excellent advantage as it emulates real life - where teams are challenged with complex projects with strict deadlines. So in my case - I really liked the whole experience that one gets from such an educational simulation of reality.
What positive impact did the UX/UI Design program bring to your career?
One of the apparent initial benefits for me was that the program brought much more structure and depth to all the knowledge I have from my past endeavours.
Now, it is much easier for me to articulate ideas, thoughts and gaps based on theoretical understanding and facts instead of just a gut feeling. Regardless of my current role - putting a point across in such a way gives far more leverage as it is based on accurate understanding, which people buy into far more straightforward.
Last but surely not least - I now have the framework and toolbox to engage in design myself and do it end to end. It is a long journey to become a complete designer and the Upskill UX/UI program
will definitely put you on the right track of becoming really good in that craft and serve as a boost for a future career in that direction.
How do you spend a typical workday?
As a Product Manager - I get to be involved in at least 10-20 tasks/projects related to Product development, which all progress simultaneously at a different pace. Owning all that and not falling behind preoccupies a certain amount of each day. However, I proactively thematize days to minimize context switching and have 2-3 hour daily blocks dedicated to deep and/or creative work. For every professional engaged in Product development or design (and for every knowledge worker in general) - no matter the situation and complexity - it is instrumental to have such a space to focus and think.
When it comes to design - I usually use such time to either review someone else’s work (i.e. a full-time designer) or create wireframes and prototypes on my own (if a designer is not available). As I am sometimes focused on overhauling complex functionalities in an already launched product, this can get very demanding at certain times.
What is your advice for people who are currently planning their career path?
Taking a path in the direction of genuine interest is maybe the most important thing one can do when selecting a career path. There is a reverse to that, though. Usually things look different on the inside, so one needs to be brave enough to try new things if the current direction does not bring the inspiration and fulfillment envisioned in the beginning.
Based on my experience - being constrained by past education or experience can actually be turned into strength when you combine it with new skills in new domains. This is how I’ve combined my degree in Finance with my experience in tech companies and as a founder to my current occupation in Product development. We see a tectonic shift in how economies and industries operate engulfed by dynamic and continuous tech disruption and it is clear that the talents of the future will be the ones who can bring value at the intersection point of their multidisciplinary skill stack.
Want to supercharge your career? Join Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI Design
and become a well-rounded professional.